Lasagna with Roasted Cauliflower Ricotta and Spinach

Posted: October 17, 2012 in Food, Health, Recipes, Vegan/vegetarian
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I picked up Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s cookcook, Appetite For Reduction, from the library recently and decided to make the lasagna with roasted cauliflower ricotta and spinach.  I’ve been looking for a good vegan lasagna, but what I got was simply a delicious lasagne that happened to be vegan.  Because I didn’t check my ingredients carefully, I didn’t have olives so I couldn’t make it last night, but I made the cauliflower ricotta yesterday and just heated it up before assembling the lasagna tonight.  Give it a try, even if you’re a meat-eater.  It’s tasty in its own right and has a mere 300 calories (only 60 from fat), 8 g. of fiber and 16 g. of protein, plus 35% of vitamin A, 150% of vitamin C, 25% of calcium and 30% of iron, (based on 6 servings/batch.)  Next time I would consider making a double batch, which I don’t think would take that much longer and would give me more leftovers.  I’m going to freeze part of this batch and see how that works. 

Lasagna with Roasted Cauliflower Ricotta & Spinach
(adapted from Appetite for Reduction, Isa Chandra Moskowitz)
(6-9 servings)

Roasted Cauliflower Ricotta:

1 med. head cauliflower (1 ½- 2 lbs.), chopped into ½” pieces
2 t. olive oil
½ t. salt
1 lb. extra-firm tofu
¼ nutritional yeast flakes
2 T. freshly squeezed lemon juice
Several pinches of freshly ground black pepper

Red Sauce:

1 (28-oz.) can crushed tomatoes with basil (or crushed tomatoes with 1/4 finely chopped basil if you can’t find it together)
2 T. chopped fresh thyme
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ t. salt

The rest of the recipe:

8 oz. lasagna noodles, broken in half, cooked in salted water (I just cut mine to fit.)
1 ½ c. chopped fresh spinach
¼ c. chopped black olives (I used kalamata.)

Roast cauliflower.  Preheat oven to 400 F.  Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.  Place cauliflower on the sheet and drizzle with oil.  Spray with non-stick cooking spray (I think I forgot to do this part) and sprinkle with ¼ t. salt.  Toss with your hands and mix well.  Spread in a single layer and bake for 10 min., then turn over.  Bake for another 15-20 min., until lightly browned, tender, and toasty.

In the meantime, crumble tofu in mixing bowl.  (I drained it in a colander and squeezed it between a couple paper towels first to get more moisture out.) Use your hands to mash, squeezing it until it has the consistency of ricotta cheese.  Add nutritional yeast, lemon juice, pepper, and remaining salt.  Use a fork to mix well.

When cauliflower is done, put it in the mixing bowl with the tofu mixture.   Use a potato masher to mash really well, for a minute or so.  If it doesn’t seem to be mashing enough with the potato masher, pulse a few times in the food processor to get it nice and crumbly.  Set aside.

To prepare the sauce, mix all its ingredients together and set aside.

How to assemble it:

Preheat the oven to 350 F.  Pour a thin layer of red sauce on the bottom of an 8” square casserole.  Line with a layer of noodles.  Spread with one-third of the cauliflower ricotta.  Layer with ¾ c. spinach leaves.  Pour on about a cup of sauce and spread fairly evenly.

Repeat one more time, creating another identical layer, starting with noodles.  For the top layer: layer with noodles, pour the sauce on, then layer with ricotta.  This layer doesn’t get any spinach.  Sprinkle with a layer of olives and press into the tofu. (I put thinly sliced tomatoes on top of the olives.)

Bake for 40 min., until the top is browned.

  1. It looks sooo good, but I personally don’t like cooked spinach 😦
    But it sure looks delicious

    • I didn’t really get a cooked spinach taste, but you could easily leave the spinach out or substitute something else. What about another green of some sort, if there’s one you like? Kale? Swiss chard? Or leave it out and put in roasted red pepper with the sauce or mushroom or ???

  2. I can’t believe that I actually have this cookbook and never noticed that incredible recipe! As an unapologetic cauliflower lover, I think I have to make this, asap.

    • Hannah, you’ll love it! I think it works better as far as time goes, to make the “ricotta” the day before. I’m testing to see how it freezes (should be fine), but I had a piece reheated last night and it was SO good.

  3. Sheila says:

    My stomach is grumbling and I can’t wait to make this – thank you! I was actually signing out, then remembered seeing this title at the bottom of your other story so had to get back in to get this.

    • Let me know how you like it. I love it–am having a piece for dinner tonight for the third night in a row. The rest is frozen and I’m taking it when Shannon (daughter) and I visit Bill (husband.)